SSS Soil System Sciences
The 2016 Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award is awarded to Agata Novara for her research on the role of agriculture in erosion, carbon cycles and sustainable land management in the Mediterranean.
Agata Novara’s research focusses on how land management in agriculture landscapes affect soil properties, with special attention to carbon and soil erosion cycles. Her work aims to make a contribution to the understanding of human impact in agriculture landscapes and how to improve land management to make agriculture sustainable in the Mediterranean area. During her PhD, she studied the effects of various abiotic factors (such as land use, fire, soil bulk density, and soil moisture) on soil-organic-carbon dynamics. During her postdoctoral research (European Science Foundation fellowship), she increased her understanding of the chemical and biological aspects of carbon sequestration. She also developed a chemical method to fractionate organic matter, learned isotopic techniques based on 13C, and studied the contribution of microbial biomass and calcium carbonate in the carbon cycle using 14C and 13C labelled substances. In parallel, she also studied soil erosion in Mediterranean vineyards in relation to different soil management. She developed two soil-erosion-rate methods and advanced alternative soil management in semiarid environment to control soil and nitrate losses.
Because of her enthusiasm, her hard work and large network, she is already now, at the age of 30, a well-known scientist. She is author and co-author of 23 publications on international peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary scientific journals, three book chapters and multiple posters or oral communications at international conferences. Novara is a regular reviewer of papers and is member of the Editorial Board of Land Degradation and Development. In addition she has convened successful soil system sciences sessions at the EGU General Assembly over the last few years.
Therefore the Outstanding Young Scientist Award of the Soil System Sciences Division has been awarded to Agata Novara, for her contribution to understand the role agriculture ecosystems play in erosion and carbon cycles, and for her commitment to find sustainable land management strategies in the Mediterranean area.